Learn the history of Malta during World War II on a 4-hour walking tour of Valletta. See war memorials and sights, such as the RAF Monument, Porta Reale, Pjazza Teatru Irjal, Strada Stretta, Misrah San Gorg, Victoria Gate, and Santa Maria Memorial.
What to Expect
Travel back in time to the dark days of the Siege of Malta, a military campaign in the Mediterranean theater of World War II, and learn about the fight for the control of the strategically important island between 1940 and 1942.
Your guide will set the scene, when Malta pitted the air forces and navies of Italy and Germany against the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy. The opening of a new front in North Africa in mid-1940 increased Malta's already considerable value. British air and sea forces based on the island could attack Axis ships transporting vital supplies and reinforcements from Europe. General Rommel, in de facto field command of the Axis forces in North Africa, recognized Malta’s importance, and in May 1941 he warned that "without Malta the Axis will end by losing control of North Africa."
Along the walk, see the commemorative RAF Monument to the 2,298 Commonwealth aircrew who lost their lives in various World War II air battles. Go to Porta Reale, a curtain wall at the center of the Valletta Land Front. Continue to Pjazza Teatru Irjal, site of the former Royal Opera House that was extensively bombed in 1942.
Walk along vibrant Strada Stretta, and see the Misrah San Gorg (St. George’s Square), site of a George Cross awarded to the island in 1942. Continue to the Queen Victoria Statue in Republic Square. Next, learn about the community kitchens, know as “Victory Kitchens,” built to avoid food waste at a time of shortage.
Go to Victoria Gate, built on the site of the old Del Monte Gate, and pay your respects to the fallen sailors of Operation Pedestal at the anchor-shaped Santa Marija Memorial. Continue to Upper Barracca Garden to see the statues of Winston Churchill and other prominent men. Admire the Siege Bell Memorial overlooking the Great Harbor of Valletta, built in 1992 to honor the 7,000 people who lost their lives in the Siege of Malta.
You will also enter the underground complex of the Lascaris War Rooms, where the air defense of Malta was conducted, along with some of the great Mediterranean sea battles. It was also here that General Eisenhower and his Supreme Commanders, Admiral Cunningham, Field Marshal Montgomery, and Air Marshall Tedder directed the Invasion of Sicily in 1943.
- Ticket to the Lascaris War Rooms
Know Before You Go
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